He’s always pretty much kept to himself but if there’s been one person who’s been at the forefront of Team Lowry, it’s his long-time coach, Neil Manchip.
Manchip was there on Sunday to congratulate Lowry on his BMW PGA Championship success, while there’s now a super snap of the two together at the presentation sharing the joy of holding the gleaming victory trophy.
The Scottish-born Manchip moved to Ireland 30-years ago in 1992, accepting a role at Royal County Down. After realising he would not be good enough to compete on the European Tour or secondary Challenge Tour, he accepted a role working at Royal Dublin in 1999 and the same year, at The Island Golf Club, he won the Irish PGA Championship.
In 2005, Manchip was appointed by the Golfing Union of Ireland as the country’s national coach and then in 2015 he coached five Irish players – Paul Dunne, Gary Hurley, Jack Hume, Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin – to share in a Royal Lytham and St. Annes seven-point thumping of an American side that included reigning US Amateur champ Bryson DeChambeau.
It was around the same time that Manchip began working with Lowry and it’s by Lowry’s side Manchip has helped the new World No. 19 not only capture some of the biggest Irish amateur titles, such as the 2007 Irish Amateur Close along with the 2008 West of Ireland, the North of Ireland and the Mullingar Scratch Cup but also some of the top rewards in men’s pro golf – 2009 Irish Open (Lowry being an amateur), 2015 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational, 2019 Open Championship and now success in the DP World Tour’s flagship event.
And if there was anyone among those at the back of the 18th green late on Sunday, looking as proud as punch it was Manchip.
“Shane played fantastic golf and bogey-free golf which is pretty amazing, even though it was over 54 holes,” said Manchip speaking in the Scotsman.
“It was very nerve-wracking coming down the last few holes, but superb. Shane’s had a couple of tricky ones this year on the PGA Tour being close to the lead and not winning and missed the FedEx final by a shot, but good things have definitely been coming because his golf has been phenomenal all year.
“He’s been in great form, absolutely loves playing in the BMW PGA Championship and absolutely loves Wentworth. His win is a great way to start the Ryder Cup campaign, which everyone is excited about in Rome next year, and it’s just great to get over the line after a couple of near misses.”
And in speaking of his long-time working and now strong personal relationship with Lowry, Manchip added: “It does mean a lot to me to be working with Shane.
“I am extremely fortunate to do what I am doing. We have a great time together and enjoy travelling the world together, watching him play and doing so well.
“His putting last week was very solid, his approach play was solid, tee to green he was great and to be bogey-free was amazing. Just all round very solid and his tactical play was also very good.
“A lot of players talk about it being a difficult course and struggle to get a way around it, but Shane sees it nicely and it just fits his eye.”
There was also no hiding Lowry’s admiration for Manchip with the now a six-time DP World Tour winner speaking warmly once again about their relationship after maintaining a knack of his successes being big ones.
“I’ve known Neil for over 18 years and it’s been a long kind of relationship,” said Lowry.
“We’re very close and it’s much more of a golf or business working relationship. We are very friendly. He probably knows more about me than anybody else. Any time I’m struggling, he knows what I’m doing to get me back.
“I feel like out on tour, it’s easy to get distracted by coaches and everything, what everyone else is doing. I feel like if you’re good enough to get on tour and you own yourself and commit to that, I feel you’ll get further than chopping and changing from coach to coach trying to get better.
“I feel like, I always say, you very rarely see players under-coached. You see a lot of players being over-coached. Yeah, we keep it simple and have our own way to do it.”
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